Recommended Reading for Recovery Journey Clients & Family

by Terence T. Gorski, Merlene Miller, Martin

This is the patient textbook for recovery and relapse prevention. While packed with powerful information about recovery and relapse prevention, it is written at the eighth-grade reading level to make information understandable by most patients.

Staying Sober explains addictive disease, Post Acute Withdrawal (PAW), recovery and partial recovery, mistaken beliefs about recovery and relapse, the relapse process, relapse prevention therapy, and the role of family involvement and relapse prevention support groups. Chapters are organized to parallel the recovery education process so each one can be used as a powerful therapeutic reading assignment to reinforce material covered in sessions.

by Lynn Clark and John Robb

Reduce your stress and enhance your emotional intelligence by practicing self-help skills from cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT).

This self-help book is fun to read and easy to use. You will improve your thoughts, self-talk, and emotions as you learn how to attain your goals. You will deal with difficult people more easily. Learn mindfulness meditation. SOS is available in 9 languages and used around the world by adults, older teens, and counselors.

SOS teaches the steps for managing anxiety, anger, depression, and other unpleasant feelings. Our beliefs and self-talk primarily cause our feelings and behavior, and not bad events and difficult people. With over 100 illustrations, SOS teaches the reality that we ourselves are responsible for managing our feelings, behavior, and happiness.

Most people believe that bad events (a large credit card debt) and unpleasant people directly cause our stress. However, SOS teaches what we believe and tell ourselves about bad events and difficult people primarily determines our emotional distress. When you believe that other people and bad events directly cause your emotions, you fail to make yourself feel better. It is self-defeating to believe that you first must change other people or the world before you can feel better. You can change your self-defeating self-talk and your emotions to become happier.

by Bill W.

The first crisis is an honest admission that my addiction is real, and it’s out of control. The next crisis then hits: What am I going to do about it? One solution is to use the support and experience of fellow addicts and alcoholics who have successfully recovered in 12 Step programs like Alcoholics Anonymous. Yet the traditional Steps and approved literature may prove problematic, for they have seen little evolution since their evangelical origins in the 1930s. This guide features adaptations grounded in a science-based understanding of both addiction and the recovery process. The best indicator of success is not how confidently we proclaim “God will do this” or “I got this”. The best indicator is the willingness to show up and actively work on recovery with a “little help from my friends”.

by Earnie Larsen

Sustained abstinence from an addiction is only the first stage of recovery; real recovery begins with Stage II–the rebuilding of the life that was saved in Stage I.

Earnie Larsen has been intimately involved with people in Twelve Step programs for twenty years. He has degrees in counseling, education, and theology, and he lectures, counsels, and conducts workshops and seminars nationally on improving interpersonal relationships. He is the author of thirty books.

by Anderson Spickard Jr

In the United States, alcoholism leads to 100,000 unnecessary deaths per year. Nearly 3 in 10 American adults are “risky drinkers.” 18 million Americans are abusing alcohol regularly. More than ½ of Americans have a close family member who is an alcoholic.

Despite the scope of this problem, there are currently no books published for the broader Christian community that offer Dying for a Drink’s unique combination of strong writing, compelling stories, the best in medical science and practice, and clear explication of the timeless spiritual principles of recovery.

The revision of this classic work incorporates new information on topics such as:

  • The role of mental illness, childhood trauma, and family origin issues
  • Human motivation and new methods of intervention and treatment
  • Understanding the role of the Holy Spirit and the church community in recovery
  • Prevention and the church’s role in an alcohol-saturated society
by Guy Kettelhack

If the coronavirus pandemic has coincided with your first steps towards sobriety and recovery, welcome! Here’s a guide for navigating the early days of life without alcohol and drugs.

The first in a series of three recovery guides, First-Year Sobriety uses personal stories to show that despite their differing experiences, all are united in the process of living without alcohol or drugs.

First-Year Sobriety uses the voices of many women and men who are struggling in the often baffling territory of their first year of sobriety to show that despite their differing experiences, all are united in the process of giving life without alcohol or other drugs a chance. These are people who are alternately amazed, appalled, delighted, depressed, illuminated, disturbed, or simply thrown by their first days, weeks, and months of sobriety.

Author Guy Kettelhack explores the challenges all seem to face: learning to break through loneliness, isolation, and fear; finding ways to deal with anger, depression, and resentment; and learning how to deal with a new and sometimes overwhelming happiness.

Kettelhack has written seven books on recovery. He is completing a Master’s degree in psychoanalysis, and is an analyst-in-training at the Boston and New York Centers for Modern Psychoanalytic Studies. A graduate of Middlebury College, Kettelhack has also done graduate work in English literature at Bread Loaf School of English at Oxford University. He lives in New York City.

by M. C. Lee

The Drug Addict’s Handbook (For Recovery) was written to offer addicts in the worst of circumstances the same information all drug addicts need to make a start in recovery. It holds the same information that folks paid a thousand dollars a day for when the author ran a residential substance abuse program for five years in Scottsdale, Arizona. The same insights and the same help getting over the same obstacles that addicts encounter everywhere.It offers information that will provide any addict, their families, or professionals in the field with a better understanding of the challenges that addicts face in early recovery.

by Bill P. , Todd Weber , et al.

A crisis like the coronavirus pandemic can threaten our recovery; it’s unexpected, unfair, and not our fault. We can’t control the virus, or other people’s behavior, but we get to decide what to carry on our journey, and what to drop.

A practical guide to letting go of the character defects that get in the way of true and joyful recovery.

Resentment. Fear. Self-Pity. Intolerance. Anger. As Bill P. explains, these are the “rocks” that can sink recovery–or at the least, block further progress. Based on the principles behind Steps Six and Seven, Drop the Rock combines personal stories, practical advice, and powerful insights to help readers move forward in recovery. The second edition features additional stories and a reference section.

12-Step Recovery Reading

by Alcoholics Anonymous

Commonly referred to as the “Twelve and Twelve,” Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions comprises 24 foundational essays by Alcoholics Anonymous co-founder Bill W. that have helped millions of A.A. members worldwide both to get and stay sober “one day at a time,” and to ensure that their “Fellowship” — Alcoholics Anonymous as a whole — will be there for them tomorrow.

by Alcoholics Anonymous

An extremely informative book which does not offer a plan for getting sober but does offer us sound advice about how to stay sober. Basic, essential information from Alcoholics Anonymous.

As the book states, “Anyone can get sober. . .the trick is to live sober.”

by AA Grapevine

Heartfelt contributions to Grapevine magazine that speak to emotional sobriety―a powerful concept first described by AA co-founder Bill W.

Powerful and uplifting, the book Emotional Sobriety: The Next Frontier features stories of sober women and men that depict the personal transformations that sobriety can bring when sober alcoholics practice the principles of Alcoholics Anonymous in all aspects of their lives.

In a 1958 article for Grapevine, the international journal of Alcoholics Anonymous, Bill W. wrote about the ongoing challenges of recovery that he faced long after he stopped drinking, including his struggle with depression. For him, “emotional sobriety” became the next frontier.

In these honest and humble essays drawn from the archives of Grapevine magazine, you’ll discover what emotional sobriety is all about. Many will realize that happiness is a by-product of giving without any demand for return; others learn to embrace the present with gratitude so they may claim moments of real peace.

The stories in this anthology show that when we have the willingness to find solutions, rather than stay stuck in problems, we can let go of fear, selfishness, and resentment, put aside selfish demands, practice outgoing love, and become more connected to our Higher Power and our friends, family, and community.

With unflinching honesty, this collection includes the voices of AA members reflecting on their own emotional sobriety or, as Bill Wilson put it, “a quiet place in bright sunshine.”

by Narcotics Anonymous World Services

First published in 1983, NA’s primary book was revised in 2008 to incorporate new personal stories in the Sixth Edition. “Our Program” contains ten chapters explaining the NA Fellowship and our program of recovery. “Our Members Share” includes personal stories from NA members worldwide, organized as:

  • Beginnings excerpted from earlier editions,
  • Coming Home journeys from addiction to recovery,
  • Regardless of… staying clean in spite of age, race, religion, sexual identity, etc., and
  • Life on Life’s Terms challenges and successes in recovery.

The Sixth Edition also includes abstracts of each personal story and brief member experiences called “Reflections.”


The Story of How Many Thousands of Men and Women Have Recovered from Alcoholism (also known as the BIG BOOK) describes how to recover from alcoholism. The author is a founder of Alcoholics Anonymous (AA), Bill W. & Dr. Bob. It is the originator of the seminal “twelve-step method” widely used to attempt to treat many addictions, from alcoholism and heroin addiction to marijuana addiction, as well as overeating, sex addiction, gambling addiction, and family members of alcoholics, with a strong spiritual and social emphasis.

Recommended Daily Meditative Reading

by Alcoholics Anonymous World Service Inc.

This is a book of reflections by A.A. members for A.A. members. It was first published in 1990 to fulfill a long-felt need within the Fellowship for a collection of reflections that moves through the calendar year—one day at a time. Each page contains a reflection on a quotation from A.A. Conference-approved literature, such as Alcoholics Anonymous, Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions, As Bill Sees It and other books. These reflections were submitted by members of the A.A. Fellowship who were not professional writers, nor did they speak for A.A. but only for themselves, from their own experiences in sobriety. Thus the book offers sharing, day by day, from a broad cross section of members, which focuses on the Three Legacies of Alcoholics Anonymous: Recovery, Unity and Service. Daily Reflections has proved to be a popular book that aids individuals in their practice of daily meditation and provides inspiration to group discussions even as it presents an introduction for some to A.A. literature as a whole.

by Narcotics Anonymous World Services

The twelve steps and Twelve traditions reprinted for adaptation by permission of AA World Services, Inc.–T.p. verso.

by Hazelden Meditations

This best-selling meditation book for those in recovery offers daily thoughts, meditations, and prayers for living a clean and sober life.

Since 1954, Twenty-Four Hours a Day has become a stable force in the recovery of many alcoholics throughout the world. With over nine million copies in print (the original text has been revised), this “little black book” offers daily thoughts, meditations, and prayers for living a clean and sober life. A spiritual resource with practical applications to fit our daily lives.

“For yesterday is but a dream, and tomorrow is only a vision” is part of the Sanskrit proverb quoted at the beginning of the book which has become one of the basic building blocks for a life of sobriety. In addition to a thought, meditation and prayer for each day of the year, this handy, pocket-sized volume also contains the Serenity Prayer and the Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions of Alcoholics Anonymous. It is a simple, yet effective way to help us relate the Twelve Steps to everyday life and helps us find the power not to take that first drink each day.

by Anonymous

This popular book provides thirty-one daily reminders on commonly encountered AA problems during an alcoholic’s way of life.

Stools and Bottles offers penetrating insights into the first four Steps from a well-known A.A. talk. The author, who also wrote The Little Red Book, describes a three-legged stool, the legs of which represents Steps One, Two, and Three. They support the seat, which symbolizes the alcoholic. An excellent aid to the daily application of the A.A. program. An old-time classic!

Faith-Based Recovery Reading

by Richard Rohr

We are all addicted in some way. When we learn to identify our addiction, embrace our brokenness, and surrender to God, we begin to bring healing to ourselves and our world. In Breathing Under Water, Richard Rohr shows how the gospel principles in the Twelve Steps can free anyone from any addiction—from an obvious dependence on alcohol or drugs to the more common but less visible addiction that we all have to sin.

by Thomas Nelson

Now you can discover for yourself the principles behind the Twelve Steps as they occur in Scripture through this best-selling New Testament.

You will find an introduction to the Twelve Steps of recovery with each step listing recovery meditations and related recovery scriptures. As you read and meditate on Serenity, you will begin to see how the God of the Bible speaks directly to your dependency needs and liberates you from debilitating addictions to restore you to wholeness and a perfect relationship with Him.

Mindfulness and Meditation Reading

by Matthew Sockolov

Find everyday calmness and clarity with simple mindfulness meditations and exercises

Mindfulness meditations are a great way to cultivate awareness and acceptance of the here and now―Practicing Mindfulness makes it easy and accessible with 75 evidence-based exercises designed to bring calmness and compassion into your day-to-day.

From finding focus with a 5-minute The Power of the Mind exercise to embracing the experience with a 25-minute Open-Awareness Meditation, Practicing Mindfulness provides the tools you need to relieve stress, improve wellness, and practice peace of mind moment to moment and throughout the daily grind.

Practicing Mindfulness includes:

  • The daily mind―Discover exactly what mindfulness is, how it helps, and how these proven exercises can bring relief, relaxation, and resilience to your day-to-day.
  • Practical advice―You’ll find plenty of help in dealing with distorted or wandering thoughts, how to handle mental blocks, and steps for staying cool and collected in all situations.
  • Mind over matter―Ranging from short traditional meditations to longer creative exercises, you’ll find 75 easy-to-follow practices to ground yourself, like breathwork and body scans.

Begin a journey of peace and patience today on the path to a better, more balanced life with Practicing Mindfulness.

by Morgan Fitzgerald MA

Develop the skills to cope with addiction with this simple guide to cultivating resilience through mindfulness

Managing addiction requires learning to live every day in the moment, one minute at a time. This mindfulness workbook gives you the tools you need in order to ground yourself in the present and create a healthier mindset, so you’re less likely to fall back into addictive behaviors.

Providing a holistic overview, this compassionate mindfulness workbook helps you adjust your response to life’s challenges with simple meditations and exercises that teach you how to live in the present. You’ll find ways to increase your self-awareness and better understand your triggers as you learn skills that help you foster honesty and compassion toward yourself. No matter what kind of dependency you’re facing, equip yourself for the challenges ahead.

This mindfulness workbook includes:

  • Master mindfulness―Learn the basics with the seven pillars of mindfulness: the beginner’s mind, non-judgment, acceptance, patience, trust, non-striving, and letting go.
  • Open to all―Discover ways you can use mindfulness to successfully manage addictive behaviors, whether you are new to it or have practiced extensively.
  • Supportive advice―This mindfulness workbook provides warm and encouraging guidance, with an understanding for what you are going through, to help you through trying times.

Create a toolbox for handling addictive behaviors with this mindfulness workbook.

Recommended Reading for Healing Family & Loved-ones

by Melody Beattie

As the coronavirus pandemic affects our loved ones, our cherished communities, and our own health and wellbeing, we may be tempted to return to the caretaking and codependent behaviors we’ve worked to leave behind. Beloved author Melody Beattie will help you learn the importance of letting go.

Written for those of us who struggle with codependency, these daily meditations offer growth and renewal, and remind us that the best thing we can do is take responsibility for our own self-care.

Melody Beattie integrates her own life experiences and fundamental recovery reflections in this unique daily meditation book written especially for those of us who struggle with the issue of codependency. Problems are made to be solved, Melody reminds us, and the best thing we can do is take responsibility for our own pain and self-care. In this daily inspirational book, Melody provides us with a thought to guide us through the day and she encourages us to remember that each day is an opportunity for growth and renewal.

by Melody Beattie

In a crisis, it’s easy to revert to old patterns. Caring for your well-being during the coronavirus pandemic includes maintaining healthy boundaries and saying no to unhealthy relationships.

The healing touchstone of millions, this modern classic by one of America’s best-loved and most inspirational authors holds the key to understanding codependency and to unlocking its stultifying hold on your life.

Is someone else’s problem your problem? If, like so many others, you’ve lost sight of your own life in the drama of tending to someone else’s, you may be codependent–and you may find yourself in this book–Codependent No More.The healing touchstone of millions, this modern classic by one of America’s best-loved and most inspirational authors holds the key to understanding codependency and to unlocking its stultifying hold on your life.

With instructive life stories, personal reflections, exercises, and self-tests, Codependent No More is a simple, straightforward, readable map of the perplexing world of codependency–charting the path to freedom and a lifetime of healing, hope, and happiness.

Melody Beattie is the author of Beyond Codependency, The Language of Letting Go, Stop Being Mean to Yourself, The Codependent No More Workbook, and Playing It by Heart.